North Korea has threatened to pull out of the June 12 discussions between Trump and Kim before this week, also Trump says he believes Chinese President Xi may be involved
US President Donald Trump stated on Thursday the Chinese President Xi Jinping “might be influencing” North Korean leader Kim Jong-un after Kim’s regime abruptly changed to a sharp, negative tone this week, calling off a summit with South Korea and threatening to drop a planned June meeting between Trump and Kim.
“If you recall two weeks ago, all of a sudden out of nowhere Kim Jong-un moved to China to say hello again — second time — to President Xi,” Trump told reporters during an Oval Office meeting with Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, speaking to a May 8 meeting between the leaders.
If Trump-Kim summit happens, what next? China-US relations Provide clues
“It might well be that he is influencing Kim Jong-un. We’ll see what happens. Meaning the President of China, President Xi, might be upsetting,” Trump said.
Trump’s remarks came the day following Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi urged the US to Stay calm over North Korea’s about-face.
During an official visit to Paris, Wang reported that “all parties, notably the USA, should cherish the chance for peace and should not function as a barrier”.
“Steps that North Korea has taken to relieve pressure on the Korean peninsula should be acknowledged,” he added.
“To solve this problem, it’s crucial for both parties to work towards the same direction, not the contrary. What I want to emphasise is that the present eased situation on the peninsula issue was hard won.”
China tells Trump remain calm over Kim threat to cancel summit
Pyongyang cited this week’s long-planned US-South Korea “Max Thunder” military exercises because for its cancellation of talks with high-level South Korean officials, in accordance with North Korean state media.
This year’s edition of the yearly drills, which began on Monday and will continue until the end of next week, was a plot to “make a preemptive air strike at the DPRK and win the air”, North Korea explained.
Pyongyang warned that the US to call off the exercises “think twice” about the fate of this Trump-Kim summit.
North Korea continued its complaints on Thursday as it warned of a “rupture” in ties with South Korea, calling the country’s officials “dumb and incompetent”.
The White House said it had had no official note from the Korean authorities and it had been continuing to plan the Trump-Kim assembly. The Pentagon said it had no plans to scale back the exercises.
Without economic profits, North Korea ‘will lose interest’ in Trump talks
Trump has said that if the discussions do not happen, the US will proceed.
Kim visited Xi in the Chinese port city of Dalian on May 8 following a surprise two-day visit to Beijing in late March. The quick succession of meetings suggested that the strained ties between the two are improving rapidly as North Korea seeks talks on its nuclear programme.
The neighbouring countries, which fought together during the Korean war, had risen apart last year following China backed United Nations sanctions crimping North Korea’s energy imports and resources of foreign cash in a bid to pressure it to halt its nuclear and missile tests.
Today China and North Korea’s pursuits are getting more aligned. North Korea is based on China to support its market, while Xi may use closer ties with Kim as leverage in his talks with Trump within the trade dispute between the world’s two largest economies.
Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He is in Washington this week for high-level talks to head off a potential trade war. He’s expected to meet Trump today.
“You have to have two parties that wanted to do it. He wanted to do it,” Trump said, speaking to Kim and the June summit meeting. “Perhaps he does not want to do it. Maybe they talked with China, that might be right. President Xi — buddy of mine, great man — but he’s for China and I’m for the USA.”